ANILINE The transparent dye used in color leather all the way through. It conceals none of the natural markings.
PURE ANILINE A top-grain leather that is aniline dyed and receives no additional coloring, but may include a protective treatment. Also call full aniline, naked aniline or naked leather.
Also called aniline-plus or protected aniline. A top grain leather that is anilined dyed and coated with matching pigment and/or other topical finishes to even out the color and add protection. Features are resist spillage - water / stain repellents - and the protection is dyed into the leather.
ANTIQUED / DISTRESSED Common descriptive teams for leather that shows signs of natural aging and wear that have been artifficially created
TOP GRAIN The uppermost layer of the hide. This is the highest quality part of the hide and the most preferred for upholstery applications.
FULL GRAIN A top-grain leather with no corrections or alterations to the natural grain pattern
CORRECTED GRAIN A leather that is buffed to remove undersirable blemishes and embossed to simulate an attractive grain or to add decorative texture.
SPLIT The bottom layers of the hide that have been split off from the top-grain leather, then pigmented or sueded. Generally stiffer and less durable, splits may be used on promotional leather furniture - particularly in areas of less direct use - to contain costs.
SOFT HAND The soft feel of a leather hide
TOP COAT A transparent, protective coating applied to the leather surface. May also impart luster to the surface.
PULL-UP A full grain, aniline dyed leather that is waxed or oiled. When pulled, the oils / waxes cause the color to migrate and become lighter in pulled areas. A look assiciated with quality leather.
PIGMENTED LEATHER A leather that is finished with a solid pigment coating for consistency of color and texture. Pigment may be sued to cover imperfectiosn, as well as add protection. Generally used to denote a more promotionsal lather. Sometimes called "painted" leather.
SAUVAGE A mottled, tone-on-tone effect created by blending similar colors. Used to add depth and character to leather.
PATINA A luster or shine that develops with use over time, usually associated with fine antiques and vintage furniture.
NUBUCK A top grain, aniline dyed leather that is buffed to create a soft nap. Not a true suede, which is made from the less desirable split hide. Especially vulnerable to stains, NuBucks are often lightly finished for protection.
NATURAL MARKINGS Common leather markings include: shading variations, healed scratches, neck wrinkles, insect bites, urine stains, barbed wire marks, strectch marks, vein marks and brands. Although useful in distinguishing real from fake lethers, and "naked" leathers from pigmented ones, new finishing techniques make it possible to simulate natural markings.